Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Bottom LIne

I'll just warn you now...I'm not in a particularly good mood.

When I decided back in December to focus my attention on getting out of debt, it was a whim - spur of the moment impulse. Granted, it's a well-intentioned goal to work toward and all that but still, a whim. I had no idea how, a month later, ridding myself of debt would become a critical necessity.

And yet, here we are.

I say "we" because it is "we" and Lex.

Give me a moment. The commitment phobe in me needs a chance to *shudder*.

If you've followed my blog long enough, I would hope you've figured out by now that Lex isn't "just" my roommate. For the eleventy-billionth time, we don't have sex. We've never had sex. We don't want to have sex - at least, not with each other. However, we are still partners, emotionally intimate. We've let our friendship define its level (thank you for that, Mr. Chick). He is the closest to a spouse I've ever come...the closest I may ever come. I'm not sure you can get any closer than the two of us are with or without sex.

So, when Lex comes and tells me that financially he's going to be in a crunch, we figure that shit out together. What? Am I going to tell him he's out on the street if he can't make his rent? Not anymore than you would tell your husband or wife who, after having just gotten laid off, "Oh! Sucks to be you. Rent's due. Cough up, Dude."

He's my partner. OK? Is that clear enough? Do you need me to pretend that we do have sex? Would that help wrap your mind around it? Fine. We have sex. We're monogamous too *laughing*. Better?

Well, that conversation happening every day as we get more information and a better idea of what we're dealing with in the near future. They aren't conversations filled with rainbows and bubbles and puppies and kittens either. They are real. They are hard. Sometimes, like last night, they are hopeful.

Right now though, they are still conversations filled with uncertainty.

We're not panicking. We're not scared. We're not ready to shop at Wal-Mart (blessed be).

But we are trying to be as realistic and as frugal as possible. Especially right now. And we're exploring all our options.

So, when this article gets posted to Facebook and the subsequent comments are filled with bullshit comments about how marrying just to get your significant other insurance is absolutely preposterous pop up? I want to say, "Fuck you, Dude." How wonderful that you must be so young and so full of vim and vigor that you can't possibly imagine yourself  contracting a serious, chronic disease that could instantly put you in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt.

Think it can't happen to you? Yeah, well, neither could someone I love very much. And yet, it happened to him. No insurance, no access to insurance, and slammed into the hospital a number of times with a chronic, critical illness that just now - after a three-year saga and basically bankruptcy - have been resolved...we hope.

Having health insurance is a huge benefit. That's a value Blind Betsy instilled in me a very long time ago. If the job doesn't offer health insurance, it ain't worth having. So I've always managed to find jobs with health insurance. Always. There have been a number of times I've been truly, deeply grateful for it.

My sister and her husband married going on um...12? 13? years ago. You know what they call their wedding day? The day Matty got insurance.

Modchen and #himself. Domestic partnered. So she could get insurance. This after what? A decade of coupledom?

Neither couple interested in marriage. But when push came to shove...when the very idea that a loved one would be without something so very important dawned? There was no question. They all did what must be done to protect each other.

It's not come to that with me and Lex...yet. But it might. And you know what? If it comes to that? I'll find my way to the courthouse with no qualms and no regrets. He means that much to me.

He means so much to me that when I receive no less than 3 requests in the last 2 weeks for a Church o' Brunch? I say, "No, I'm sorry. There will be no worship. For now." He's more important than bacon. Keeping the 2 of us together is more important than bottomless mimosas.

When a group of us talks about dinner out and said dinner could top out at $40 a person? I have to say, "I'm sorry. That's not in my budget." Because it's not. Not only am I trying to get out of debt but I need to have as much liquidation as possible...just in case the worst case scenario is real.

Is that preposterous?

Worst case, I can cover my basic necessities and his until he can get back on his feet. Best case, I get out of debt and everything's golden. But until we know for sure what Grotto life is going to look like, I can't afford much and certainly nothing compared to what I've been "affording".

For now...

Church o' brunch may be pot luck at someone's house. Are you volunteering?

Dinner out may mean Barricuda's. That alright?

Social evenings may mean movie and whirly pop night or canasta and PBR. OK?

I'm doing what I can. If you want to see me, hang out with me, SUPPORT ME (and Lex), you'll be like, "Oh! Yeah! Cool! OK!"


Anonymous said...

Awww Jane, I don't know much but I know you have a big old generous heart. Good luck to you both. Corky

Franklin Taggart said...

In the real world you do what you have to do. I think it's great that you're willing to go to that length for a friend of any level of intimacy. Let anyone who will judge you have their own hell and you pay attention only to what your own conscience tells you. That being said, I would also recommend a prenup. Anything can happen and you and Lex, just like a couple who once had sex could find yourselves in acrimonious times. Both of you can protect yourselves legally by making a written, signed, notarized contract with each other about what your(I know this is a dreaded word in your vocabulary) expectations are. The other question that comes to mind is getting married the only option or just an easy one. It's really easy to get married. Getting unmarried...not so much. Just like any couple, feelings change. Speculation can sometimes be useful. Find out all the options before you sign the marriage license.

Just Jane said...

@Corky: Thank you. That means an awful lot to me.

@Franny: Point well taken. It's off the table for now. It freaks us both out enough for that to be true. But, you are right. Just like with a couple who DO have sex, things change, people change, feelings change, expectations (should) change. We would never take the decision to get married lightly. We're discussing options. Marriage is, likely, the worst case scenario.

Teresa said...

Canasta anyone? I'm a great card player and I have movies!

MsSparrow said...

how about scrabble and curry?

Diva said...

What I took from the article was a couple could save money on health insurance if they run a small business; for instance, if the Maestro and I offered group coverage and we got married, my monthly premium would be cut by 50%. We choose to spend the extra, but if we could not, the financial cuts would be very deep to keep the insurance in place.

No one should go without insurance. EVER. I'd rather subsist on ramen and give up MAC....and you know how important my makeup is to me. *laugh*

That said, I do not agree that anyone, regardless of how close, should get married to provide the other coverage. That's because I got burned out of so much more than just insurance when I was married. My baggage, I know - but it's a lesson learned the hard way, and those lessons tend to stick. *smile*

So I agree that if it does come to it - and you continue to amaze me with your kindness, care, and love in even considering such a thing - an iron-clad, notarized, "what's mine is mine and what's yours is yours" pre-nuptial contract. Just, you know, from someone who's been there. *hugs*